...preserving the beauty of everyday moments...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Someone's in the kitchen with mommy...

Ariana has been discovering the joys of Christmas baking this holiday season. What a difference from last year, where I could put her in her bouncy chair and, basically, bake to my hearts content. This year, I have two little hands pulling my leg asking for "bup, Mommy". (For those of you who don't know, that's Ariana's version of "up") and a very eager helper who likes to be in the middle of EVERYTHING Mommy is doing. Somehow, I have managed to make a few things, though it is largely scaled down from previous years. I have also found it in my heart to be unselfish and have let my munchkin lick the spoons- which is one of MY favorite things to do! She has been in her glory!!! What I should have posted were pictures of the fits thrown, after I have pried away a "very much licked, chewed on, every last trace of cookie goodness sucked out of" wooden spoon! She also is a fan of the cookies in their intended state...baked. I cannot seem to sneak one past her! No matter how occupied she may seem, she somehow senses that "Mommy is in the good stuff" and comes running asking "more...pity pweeeease"
...I gave Ariana some measuring spoons and a one cup measure so she could stir her bowl as well. Here she is- busy whipping up a batch...

...her very first spoon lickin' experience

Monday, December 21, 2009

...he's on his way

I guess with Christmas nearly upon us, it has caused me to look back and reflect on last years' Christmas season. Nathan took three weeks leave to come and spend with Ariana and I before he deployed. We were just at the beginning of our love for one another and Christmas Eve was a very sparkly night indeed, as he placed a ring on my finger and asked me to be his for keeps. So often, I am just amazed at how God brought the two of us together and how quickly He grew our love.

As most of you know, the road God asked me to travel during my pregnancy and Ariana's early days was not easy. In fact, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I learned so much about myself but also about HIM. His unfailing love never left me and through it all my faith never left- I KNEW that even though I didn't understand- He is good and He has good plans for me. Little did I know that through the pain, heartache, feelings of abandonment and grief, God was preparing me to meet the man of my dreams. I remember being so nervous as Nathan and I met for the first time... so self conscious and awkward... I sloshed my drink all over myself, left the keys in the trunk lock while we were at the mall ( I was so relieved no one drove off with the car!), forgot to put on lip gloss, ran late, wore socks that didn't match my outfit... and yet- he saw me, right to the very core of me, and loved me.

Nathan has been there for me, through my confusion, as I had to make the choice of where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be with. He has patiently held me and offered me the security I was longing for. He wiped tears from my face and never grew tired of telling me "I love you" when I questioned if he was really sure that he did. He has loved me in a way that has erased all my fears, insecurities and questions. His patience has been untiring, as I reached new levels of healing from all that took place before he was in the picture. He adopted Ariana in his heart, as his own, very early on in our relationship. He has taken the initiative to legally adopt her as well, sharing his name with her- just as many years ago, that name was shared with him by two, wonderful people.

Through this deployment, he has been the ever faithful husband and daddy. His love, in spite the fact of being halfway around the world, has been the warm blanket that has held Ariana and I. Its presence has always been felt, its reality, never questioned. His presence has been missed greatly and there have been times that I have just ached for his arms to hold me. But I've made it through this year with his support, encouragement and listening ear that was always just a phone call or IM chat away.

He is strong, passionate, gentle, loving, kind, dependable- yet surprising. He's funny, charming, down to earth and reliable. He's all I have dreamed of and just what I have always needed.

This is my husband.

This is the man I love.

This is my Nathan and he is on his way home.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Can you hear me now?

One of Ariana's new favorite things to do is talking on the phone. Here she is talking away to her Grammy Jill, who happens to be one of her most favorite's too! She normally has a lot to say, but sometimes she just likes to listen. She always enjoys singing over the phone- either to Grammy or Daddy or with them as they sing a song she knows. Grandpa normally sings her "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys, which gets her grinning ear to ear and getting her groove on! Often, her phone chats end unexpectedly- those buttons are really tricky! but she normally calls you right back to start up where she left off. The other day, while I was taking the puppy out, Ariana found my phone and left the sweetest voicemail for Uncle Miles- so be prepared, if your number is in my phone- you may pick up to a little voice saying "hiii"


Ariana and her new, best buddy all ready for bed and having a last snuggle in Mommy's rocking chair.
giving Mona hugs...
watching tv together...

I am surprised, but relieved, that I can say it has actually been relatively easy to introduce a puppy to our household. Of course, there are those moments when the phone rings, the baby's crying and the dog has to go out NOW...but for the most part it has been a smooth adjustment. Ariana absolutely adores Mona. They play together, share everything, get into trouble together and last night, Ariana tried to pull Mona over the edge of the tub to splash with her- I guess she thought the puppy needed a bath too! Both of them are very busy, but I am finding the extra help of Mona's entertaining antics to be a welcome break for Mommy, who now gets to watch the two of them play. Nathan is looking forward to coming home and playing with the two of them as well. He's always wanted a Jack Russell so this is part of his perfect, family picture that he has wanted so long.

Christmas Elves

Yesterday, as I was busy downstairs in the kitchen... what did I hear??? But four, tiny feet, giggling and crinkling paper- UPSTAIRS!!!

I grabbed my camera as I headed up there to investigate and sure enough- it was a moment to capture "on film." Ariana had found my last roll of decent wrapping paper (she had already discovered the other rolls I had purchased this year) and the bag of bows, so her and Mona decided to "help" Mommy finish wrapping Daddy's presents. (Sorry, hun, I'm afraid your presents are going to have the special "crinkle-look" we are going for this year!) I could only laugh as I saw the joy each one of them were experiencing as they delightfully unrolled the whole roll of paper and played with ribbons and bows.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Princess

These are the "true to life" photos of Ariana and Mona. Having a blast and keeping Mommy very, very busy!

And these are the finished photos from our Christmas photo shoot the other night. Which was quite the workout for me!!! I have finally realized why no one took their own child's pictures at the studio I worked at!

First, I gave her a bath so she was all fresh and smelling "oh! so good", then, there was the struggle to get her in the dress...Ariana thought it was the perfect time to run around naked- who needs a party dress??? Then, I had to try and get her to sit still, put the puppy on her lap and the RUN to get my camera, only to find they had scattered...But I would have to say I am very happy with the results!

I look at this precious, little face and am so amazed that God gave her to me. Her smile melts my heart. I love the mischief I see twinkle in her eyes. I love those rare, snugly moments when she wants to just sit with me and rock. Its thrilling to see her discover life and take in all that is going on around her. This little person is one of the greatest gifts I could ever have hoped for- I am so blessed.

About Our Family...

My photo
We are a family who was birthed through God's incredible goodness- joining our hearts and lives in a way we call miraculous. Nathan and I were married April 11,2009, which just happened to be one of the most perfect days in our lives. Ariana is our beautiful, two year old daughter, that we thank God for every day. She brings so much joy to our lives and delight to our hearts. Landon joined us six months ago. He was born with a heart defect and had open heart surgery at three months of age. We are so grateful for his speedy healing and this happy, healthy baby boy! We are an Army family- this is Nathans' thirteenth year serving our country. We recently moved across the country and are loving the life God has blessed us with. Our life is simple, but its beautiful to us and I pray that you are blessed by the beauty that we find in it.